Dean/Director of Industry Engagement

Saint Walker

Saint joined Escape Studios as Deputy Dean in 2019, before coming Dean/Director of Industry Engagement in 2022. For over 25 years, Saint has been working at the interface between the animation, computer games, VFX industries and higher education, with a mission to produce quality talent to feed the UK's creative industries. 

Highlights of Saint’s career include:         

  • Authoring and updating the well-respected Core Skills of VFX Handbook and Student Primer

  • Creative Director for Summer of Unreal 2021    

  • Initiating, designing and running the Norwich University of the Arts VFX degree course, authoring the world’s first VFX MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in VFX skills through FutureLearn 

  • As a member of Access:VFX, Saint has worked on a number of projects to encourage more diversity and inclusion in visual effects and animation  

  • Curator and convenor of the annual London International Animation Festival industry panels since 2014. 

In 2020, Saint became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). 

Saint is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and has designed and run courses for the National Film and Television School, University of the Arts, and has been an external examiner, written articles, mentored, led and managed a range of industry facing education ventures.   

In terms of free time, he’s a keen paleofuturist and blogs about digital pedagogy.  

Recent activities: 

  • 2022 - Virtual Production Panellist/Speaker at the Viborg Animation Festival, Denmark 

  • 2021-2022 - External Assessor for the Animation Workshop, Viborg 

  • 2020 - Judge at the British Animation Awards (Best Immersive category) 

  • 2020 - Member of Expert Advisory Group for Postgraduate Certificate in HE 

  • 2020 - Presented a paper at The Future of the Business Landscape Academic Conference 2020 Escape Studios 

  • 2020 - Chair of "First steps to a career" and “Ten Years On” panels at the VFX Festival 2020 

  • 2018-2019 - articles published in 3D World Magazine: “The Art of the Side Project: how you can learn from the greats of VFX” (Issue 127) and “No More Stories, Let’s Start Building Worlds” (Issue 117) 

  • 2019 - Gained Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 

  • 2018 - External Examiner for University of Portsmouth Computer Animation and VFX BSc courses 

  • 2017 - Author of the Creative Skillset (update) “Core Skills of VFX Handbook” 

  • 2016-2017 - Author/Designer of the first VFX MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) “VFX for Guerrilla Filmmakers” globally available on the FutureLearn platform 

  • 2015 - Course Leader, BA (Hons) VFX 

  • 2013-2014 - Wrote VFX “Training the trainer” competencies programme for the Egypt Government Broadcast Sector 

  • 2011-2014 - Creative Skillset’s Head of Development, managing and overseeing several important initiatives for the VFX industry - VFX and animation standards, the first Higher Level Apprenticeships and Accreditation 

  • 2011 - Writer and named contributor to the UK Government’s “Next Gen Skills” report.